Deco expects to be held in reserve

Deco Souza led Porto to victory with a match-winning performance in the final of the Champions' League but he is resigned to starting Euro 2004 on the bench.

Deco Souza led Porto to victory with a match-winning performance in the final of the Champions' League but he is resigned to starting Euro 2004 on the bench.

Luiz Felipe Scolari has played Rui Costa as his playmaking central midfielder in most of Portugal's recent friendlies and Deco does not expect the coach to have a change of heart before the hosts get the tournament underway against Greece on 12 June.

"I don't know what's in the coach's mind but from what we've seen the first choice will be Rui Costa," Deco said. "I don't think we're incompatible but we'll have to see. Whenever I've played alongside him I've felt good."

The Brazilian-born Deco was called up to the Portugal squad by Scolari, the former Brazil coach, in March 2003, a week after being granted Portuguese citizenship. That match was against Brazil and Deco crowned a spectacular debut by scoring the winner. This season he has been in excellent form for Porto and scored the second goal in their 3-0 victory over Monaco in the Champions' League final.

"I don't regret choosing to play for Portugal," Deco said. "I've always been well treated and it's a pleasure to play here. I was born in Brazil and it would be a lie to say that I'm just Portuguese now and not Brazilian but I love Portugal and I love playing for the national team."

Portugal follow up their Group A game against Greece in Porto with matches against Russia and Spain.

The Real Madrid defender Michel Salgado has been forced to pull out of Spain's squad because of a thigh injury and will be replaced by the Deportivo la Coruña full-back Joan Capdevila. The Spain coach, Inaki Saez, made the surprise decision to substitute Salgado for the left-sided Deportivo player after doctors confirmed that the Real right back would be out for up to 15 days with a torn thigh muscle.

Capdevila's club colleague Manuel Pablo was thought to be the favourite to replace Salgado, but Saez has decided to reshuffle his defence in the wake of the Real Madrid player's injury. Saez is now likely to move the Barcelona defender Carles Puyol to his favoured right-back slot and use Capdevila or the Real Madrid defender Raul Bravo on the left.

Earlier Spain's team doctor Genaro Borras confirmed that Salgado sustained the injury in training on Tuesday.

Spain play their opening match in Group A against Russia on 12 June, they face Greece four days later and then meet hosts Portugal on 20 June.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor